How we are helping
Our focus – as always – is on the safety and welfare of our clients, including people who are homeless and people living on the streets.
However, the coronavirus pandemic has put a spotlight on the dangers of sleeping rough. It has also exposed and exacerbated the precarious housing and financial situations of many people in England.
Our work of the last year has saved hundreds, and changed thousands, of people’s lives and in the face of an incredibly challenging year, we have proved that When We Work Together we can end rough sleeping.Find out more
Our frontline and central services teams work hard together to meet our duty of care for our clients during COVID-19.
"People who have been out on the streets for more than 20 years, who have never engaged with us, have finally taken up offers of our help. They've understood that we are there in their times of needs. Because that is our guiding principle: we don't ever give up."
Kath, Head of Outreach on supporting vulnerable people when the full impact of the pandemic hit.
When lockdown began in the UK, John* found himself in a difficult situation and needed support to help him survive. With the support of our Bournemouth, Poole and Christchurch outreach team, he was able to self-isolate in safety and comfort.
Read John's story
"For the first time in three and a half years, I feel safe again. No matter how good you get at living on the streets, safety never comes into it. So for me this is a very positive thing."
Working with partners
We could not have responded to the coronavirus pandemic so effectively without the incredible generosity of our partners and supporters. Numerous businesses, individuals, trusts, foundations, and community organisations have been supporting our COVID-19 response. They have been vital in our effort to help vulnerable people:
- Meals delivered to clients
- Clothing and smartphones donated
- Donations and funding
"This has been the most rewarding experience. It’s lovely to know that, during a time of so much uncertainty, we are able to help improve people’s lives."
Harriet signed up to volunteer during the pandemic to deliver essentials to people self-isolating in temporary accommodation.Read Harriet's story
What happens next?
We now have a unique opportunity to move towards ending rough sleeping for good. The Government’s response to rough sleeping during the COVID-19 pandemic helped save lives. In just two months, almost 15,000 people sleeping rough or at risk of rough sleeping were housed in emergency accommodation. So we know what is possible when we work together and homelessness is made a priority.
But without long-term support for complex problems like substance use, mental health and domestic abuse, many of these people will sleep rough again after COVID-19. And more will join them as the recession bites.
Since 2008, nearly £1bn has been cut from what councils spend on homelessness services every year. This money hasn’t been replaced by the emergency COVID-19 response and these vital services are still unable to help everyone who needs them.
Everybody who has slept rough deserves the support they need and a Home for Good. The Government must urgently invest an extra £1bn in homelessness services every year until at least 2024 if they are to end rough sleeping for good.Take action today
If you see someone sleeping rough please let StreetLink know, through their website or app, to help connect them to local services that can support them to move away from the streets.
If someone needs urgent medical assistance, call 999.Contact StreetLink